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1989 XJ-S Resto-Thread - or "my Iron Lady"

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XJS ( X27 ) 1975 - 1996 3.6 4.0 5.3 6.0

1989 XJ-S Resto-Thread - or "my Iron Lady"

 
  #1  
Old 07-28-2014, 09:49 AM
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Default 1989 XJ-S Resto-Thread of my "Iron Lady" - PIC HEAVY

Hi there!

Well, I convinced myself, that it would be clever to do a "resto-thread" serving the purpose of showing what I bought, how I bought it and what I had to do to it... And am still doing! So, to the car...

I had been watching the XJ-S market for a while and seeing that it only was moving in one direction: upwards! So I had the cash at the time, and reall decided "now is the time!" So I browsed through the classifieds here (Germany), in the Netherlands, in Luxemburg and Sweden, but couldn't find THE XJ-S for me. Until I was looking on the UK eBay and noticed a new add... A light blue XJ-S V12 from 1989. Exactly the engine, year and bodystyle I was looking for. A few boni: factory sunroof, leather seats, low mileage, Lattice alloys, good interior.

I immediately phoned the owner, a very friendly man, and asked what was wrong with it, as the price was amazingly low - considering what the market had. He described the car worse than it was... I think he was the 10th or 11th owner, so she had seen a few owners. He was also as it seemed a collector, as he had a second XJ-S (a black 1988 XJ-S TWR) for sale at the time... Though far worse...

After the call was done, I decided with my parents, as my dad is someone who makes you think it through from A-Z. So, after a through think over, I booked a flight from Bremen (Germany) to London (UK), stayed a night at my Aunt's and then took the train into London to meet the owner and see the car. If it wasn't exactly that what he described, I'd walk away...

As soon as I saw the car, I fell in love... You know that feeling, you get into the car and you know "this is the one"? Everything was exactly how I thought it would be. A slight bit of patina, a few little niggles and woes but nothing bad. The engine was cold when started and it was raining. So great when it comes to starting, bad when it comes to body work control. The body had a few little dings (come on, which 25 year old car doesn't have any without having some serious bodywork done!?).

Took her for a spin: all fine. Nothing bad (steering was off center, but not pulling left/right). She was showing her age.

Seen, wanted, bought!

So there I was, a 27 year old with an old Jag lady (she earned her name Iron Lady upon the drive to my Aunt's). I filled her to the brim and drove her.

Well, teh radio was crap (and ugly), so I had my Galaxy Note playing music via headphones. And the drive was definately great and that what I expected. Driving it in the UK helped getting used to RHD (doesn't bother me).

Got to my Aunt's to find out: the central locking on the passenger side didn't work. Don't matter. Boot and driver's door lock still!

The same evening we went to the pub in the Jag to find out, that NO interior lights work. Neither the door lights, nor the ceiling or rear lights. The dash was dark. Everything was dark. And as I had no user manual at the time, I couldn't find the dimmer - until I hit my knee against it to find that it barely illuminates the interior

The next day I drove her from Hertfordshire to Harwich (Port)... No problems. She then really tried hard to stay in the UK, as she didn't want to start at the port. Only with the gas pedal depressed, would she start up (I still have this problem every so often). She fired on all cylinders, but ran very lumpy (I also still have this problem too). Forced her into gear (and found out that she had been wired differently so she'd start in D, 2 and 1!) and up onto the ferry.

I was worried all night that she'd cause problems the next day. But nothing. Ferry docked, I turned the key and she started instantly! Smooth and quietly...

And then the 450 km (about 300 mile) journey home (the longest drive so far) was due... Not a problem at all! She ran and ran and ran and ran. 120 km/h (~75 mph) on the Dutch motorways. Cruise worked. Dials worked. Steering worked. Brakes worked. Transmission worked. All worked Even the cigar lighter! Good for the Tomtom So I stopped and took these pictures of her trip to Holland:






Once I got home, I was so full of joy. Finally, my childhood dream had come true! 17 years after I told my friend I'd own one someday, I had her. The car I always wanted... But you don't ever get an XJ-S for a good price, without it having some "niggles" and some urgent repairs...!

But more to come... As I have done loads in the last 9 months

I'll be updating this thread throughout the week and as progress is made As it is no rushed project, some things will take a while where as others, seemingly less urgent, may be done earlier

Cheers and thanks for reading

Damien
 

Last edited by Daim; 07-28-2014 at 11:36 AM.
  #2  
Old 07-28-2014, 10:43 AM
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First job done, was replacing a cracked tyre... It was fine in Britain but as it looked, it was over it's life span as the car arrived Germany... So the nice and wide, deep crack was instantly removed and replaced.





The hub carrier is next to new... The suspension though needs replacing. Which is to be done soon. Hopefully!
 
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Old 07-28-2014, 10:51 AM
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Just a quick "classic to modern" comparisson. My Volvo vs. my Jag... In a crash I'd prefer to be in the Volvo - that is safety me though





And I started buying parts again... I normally "stock" Volvo parts but after my C30 being so reliable, I didn't bother. Now my shelves are filling with Jag parts!

 
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Old 07-28-2014, 11:00 AM
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After putting her in storage for a month (winter time and the drive was plastered, so I couldn't leave her at home for a few weeks), I bought a second XJ-S... Basically only for the rims! Not kidding! As the car was attached, I thought "might as well"









No worry, the scrapped car wasn't worth repairing...:





Those higly machined Lattice rims look so much more cleaner than the grotty painted silver ones my car had... Happy I bought the car!

Since I parted it out, I've got a few spares... At the same time, the entire car buying price was brought back into my pocket - 3 times
 
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Old 07-28-2014, 11:10 AM
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Shortly before scrapping the bad XJ-S I got mine over to change a few little things...



















The interior lighting didn't work, because a fuse had blown. Easily enough. The bulbs in the rear had also fallen apart (as seen).

And then the scrapped car was towed away behind a Land Rover...

 
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Old 07-28-2014, 11:13 AM
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Started to get the central locking system working again. The locking mechanism had rusted tight and didn't budge. A lot of Güsol (rust solvent and remover) made it work as if there was nothing special












After it worked again, I sorted the ignition switch cover out. Scratched to pieces and available new... So I bought new and fitted it:








The fibreoptic bulb was replaced with a very bright LED (yellow) in order to get the best possible lighting:


 
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Old 07-28-2014, 11:22 AM
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Had the rear lights (reverse and plate lights) fitted again... Bought a new holder (need the entire "cross bar carrier" new as it is rotting behind the "GB" sticker)






Then I attacked the leaky headers on the drivers side (RIGHT):






















And I had to bodge something, though I am no fan of it, because the plug is broken:


Result: engine runs smooth, isn't loud anymore... Great!
 
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  #8  
Old 07-28-2014, 11:27 AM
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The headliner was the worst job so far... Well, not really! I removed the material in December after putting her in storage.

This is how I left it:



And I wanted to use this, so I prepared it's use:



But as fibreglass from the 80ies is crap, I changed my mind and went totally handmade! Wood or better powder board:











The boards are glued up and will be a good solution against a sagging headliner... As they are also tensioned via the factory headliner hooks, it is no worry for future things. I couldn't resist and fit the new interior light at the same time The interior is so well illuminated! The C30 is as dull as a 60W light bulb as a flood light! At least compared to the XJ-S



































Headliner isn't quite finished. Got to get a solution for the area around the windscreen. It is a little wavey there but that is due to the shapes there. I think I'll buy the section from an XJ-SC, as that stripe would be enough to finish it properly
 
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Old 07-28-2014, 11:34 AM
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My goal was to get her ready for a classic car show on the 1st of May in "Thedinghausen". The last ~4 years I was there, I always said "next year I'll be here too". As the min. age is 20 years, my XJ-S was more than old enough to participate!

But before that, I had to replace a few little pieces and do a service...:

12 spark plugs:



















https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3737/13645309183_26fd070a85_b.jpg[/IMG]



After putting all the plugs back in, reinstalling all parts and then starting a setup a switch went "CRUNCH" and was broken. The kickdown switch snapped... Great. New one needed. Luckily it is a common part in Jags...:






Needed then my "Jaguar-XJ-S-Bible":






Okay, then I set the engine up... Idle switch, connector rods, etc.




And then I was finished...






Some new engine badges, as you have to know what is under the bonnet! Not that someone says it is a Mercedes or BMW engine!






Changed the wiper blades (the top is old, bottom new):



Boot is prepared for the oil change and diff oil top up:

 

Last edited by Daim; 07-28-2014 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 07-28-2014, 11:42 AM
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The 1st of May 2014 was close and I got some temporary plates... Drove the Lady to my brother's workshop (needed a lift) to top the diff oil (as it was dripping) and to change the engine oil.




Filled her to the brim with 91 liters (the tank has 90l volume so the pump must have some bad calibration) of finest German "Super Plus" (98 Ron) for €164,xx (yes, that is a full tank of fuel!) so I could have a lot of fun the next few days!

The left hand exhaust hung... Was sorted:




I also fitted a new (very cheap) radio, not a classical Jag radio as I intended but one which (eventhough it has Bluetooth, USB, AUX, SD-Card slot and co) looks rather dated. Only cost €40 so I took it... Lights up in my desired colour taste (to match the interior: yellow or green)



She also needed some original battery clamps. Oddly, Jaguar can't deliver the wing nuts. My Jaguar spares supplier can't supply the brackets/rods. Together: one day wait and €11 later...



The next day the (wet) car show could come!



















As you can see, all 3 bodystyles were there!
 
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Old 07-28-2014, 11:48 AM
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During the 5 days, my Iron Lady decided to show, that a British car will always be marking it's territory... She leaked everything...

- Water
- Oil (engine)
- Oil (power steering)
- Oil (transmission)
- Oil (rear differential)
- Oil (rear right shock absorber)
- Petrol (in trunk)

Never mind, more projects!

I started on a pump overhaul, as that was empty. I decided to reseal the power steering pump:






























Which turned out to be an easy task... Just that the pump broke and I had to do it again but that doesn't matter either!
 
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Old 07-28-2014, 11:50 AM
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This was followed by a fuel pipe (under bonnet) replacement/rebuild:






My drawing to help me remember correctly. Of course on the wall - I'm no pen and paper handworker!








Freshly pressed with new pipes and fixtures - BY HAND!!!





Before I fitted it, I did a pressure test with 7 Bar... Should be enough to make it burst: didn't even get in the near of it! Totally sealed - as the fuel pump does 3.5 Bar, I'd say it is fine!



















And done! Fitted, sealed, looks like new(ish). I'll probably be doing the others now too! Was quite fun!
 
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Old 07-28-2014, 11:51 AM
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great write up

and looks like your enjoying your XJS experience

BB
 
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Old 07-28-2014, 11:55 AM
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I removed the power steering rack, as that was leaking in some areas. It is easier to remove it, work on a bench and then refit again. Nothing hard at that

















And a surprise: my XJ-S V12 has the Sports Pack...! Makes it quite a bit rarer than I though! These bushs gave it away...






























 
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Old 07-28-2014, 11:58 AM
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As changing all the water pipes takes a lot of time and pictures, I made an album on Flickr... Thought it would be easier

https://www.flickr.com/photos/288642...7645406183802/

The cruise control actuator was then due... Didn't work after I turned it the correct way around But that was because the rubber was crap. So I replaced the bellows and wire/cable at the same time:

























 
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Old 07-28-2014, 12:03 PM
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Well, there is loads more to do yet. Not that I didn't expect it... Old cars require work. At least I didn't pay too much for it! The main mechanical parts work... Though more jobs are making themselves visible as we speak!

The water rail pipes are leaking now (great... After just changing the coolant!!! Grrr!). The injector harness is falling apart (age). The power steering pump "exploded" but now works. The steering rack started to pee ATF through the tower/shaft, but that has been fixed easily. The headlights are going to be a problem, as I want the Cibie units I have but need them for LHD... The engine is leaking a bit of oil between transmission and engine. The differential and rear shocks are leaking, but that isn't a hard thing to do (axle out, new seals, sandblast many parts, etc.). At the same time I'll replace the rear springs as well as the front shocks and springs. The windscreen seal is brittle (new is in the boot already). The exhaust is leaking - a Bell stainless steel one will be sourced... Not a never ending story, but enough to keep me occupied for a few months
 
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Old 07-28-2014, 09:38 PM
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Wow, thanks for sharing all the pics. I especially like the interior shots at night. The XJS cabin is truly a work of art.
 
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Daim View Post
The headlights are going to be a problem, as I want the Cibie units I have but need them for LHD... The engine is leaking a bit of oil between transmission and engine. The differential and rear shocks are leaking, but that isn't a hard thing to do (axle out, new seals, sandblast many parts, etc.). At the same time I'll replace the rear springs as well as the front shocks and springs. The windscreen seal is brittle (new is in the boot already). The exhaust is leaking - a Bell stainless steel one will be sourced... Not a never ending story, but enough to keep me occupied for a few months
Sadly, LHD Headlights are no longer available, and very rare second hand; but you might have luck finding a set in the USA or off a scrapped LHD car in Europe somewhere. Check the oil gauge and warning light senders (just behind the throttle capstan) for the engine/gearbox oil leak, as these two items leak, particularly at high revs, and the oil runs down the back of the engine, also check the camshaft oil feeds and the cam cover gaskets for this same problem.

Many congrats on a great writeup and a really good restoration. By the by, those rack bushes are aftermarket ones, not OEM or OEM JaguarSport ones.

Greg
 
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Greg in France View Post
Sadly, LHD Headlights are no longer available, and very rare second hand; but you might have luck finding a set in the USA or off a scrapped LHD car in Europe somewhere. Check the oil gauge and warning light senders (just behind the throttle capstan) for the engine/gearbox oil leak, as these two items leak, particularly at high revs, and the oil runs down the back of the engine, also check the camshaft oil feeds and the cam cover gaskets for this same problem.

Many congrats on a great writeup and a really good restoration. By the by, those rack bushes are aftermarket ones, not OEM or OEM JaguarSport ones.

Greg
Regarding the lights: yeah, I've noticed that. Kind of like finding hens teeth. I'll probably buy the conversion kit to dual headlights (US style) until I find the EXACT lights I want. I really like the idea of keeping the headlight wipers, as they both work and therefore should be kept...

Thanks for the tips regarding all the little leak possibilities. An engine with that amount of oil will leak somewhere... I mean, I was brought up in England, with parents who mostly only owned British Leyland cars. My dad used to say: "If there is no oil under it, there is none in it!"

Crud about bushs. My Jag dealer said "sports pack" as I showed him... But at least that saves me a few bits and bobs... No need for sports pack dampers and springs then Luckily!
 
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Old 07-29-2014, 12:28 PM
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Hey where did you source those nice ferrel crimps for rebuilding your fuel lines. Any parts numbers etc... By the way enjoying your write up. Good luck.

Thanks !!

-Scott
 

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